MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Baker said Friday that his right elbow feels much better after receiving another cortisone shot, but he will likely miss at least two starts.Baker had the shot after lasting just two innings in his start on Thursday against the Tigers. The starter was taken out of the game due to the tendinitis he had battled back in July flaring up again. This is the second cortisone shot that Baker has received -- the first came right before the All-Star break. "I think you'd like to say that the last cortisone shot was the cure all, end all, but that's just not the case," Baker said. "It definitely feels better this time than the last time," he added about the second shot. "I don't know if that's due to it being in a better spot as far as the medicine. We'll have to see, but so far, so good." Baker said that since the first cortisone shot, he hadn't had any problems with his elbow until Thursday night. He started to feel his elbow in the first inning, but it wasn't the discomfort that forced him out of the start early. "It started to affect my pitches," Baker said. "I wasn't able to finish my pitches or get the ball down. So once that was the case, I wasn't doing the team any good or I wasn't doing myself any good. I felt that I had to say something." Baker said the plan is not to have him throw at all for three days, and manager Ron Gardenhire said the team will likely keep Baker out for at least two starts. With the expanded roster in September, the team can afford to be careful with the pitcher. "We just backed him up a few days the last time and everything went good, so we'll see," Gardenhire said. "We're definitely going to back it up a little bit more now because we can."
Twins call up three pitchers for depth
MINNEAPOLIS -- After using a total of eight pitchers in Thursday's night's 10-9 loss in 13 innings to the Tigers, the Twins needed additional arms to aid a depleted and worn-down bullpen.That help came in the form of three pitchers from Triple-A Rochester -- right-handers Matt Fox, Rob Delaney and Alex Burnett. Fox was brought up to start Friday's contest against the Rangers. Delaney and Burnett will give the Twins two relievers that can both throw multiple innings if needed. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip for the pitchers, who all got the phone call from Rochester manager Tom Nieto telling them of their promotion around 12:30 or 1 a.m. CT. Rochester's team had just traveled by bus back from Syracuse, N.Y., late on Thursday night, but Burnett and Delaney had gotten home in time to watch some of the Twins' game on TV with their fellow teammates. Since so many pitchers were used in Minnesota's game, the players admitted there was some consideration that perhaps the Twins could call up other arms to help out. But still the phone calls were a welcome surprise, particularly for Delaney. "I was in shock," said Delaney of his first ever callup to the Majors. After the phone calls came the whirlwind, as the players returned to the field shortly after their phone calls to pack up their baseball bags. They then flew out of Rochester at 10 a.m. CT, with a stop in Cincinnati, and headed to Target Field straight after landing at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, arriving at the clubhouse around 3 p.m. CT. Burnett has not pitched since Sunday and Delaney last threw one-third of an inning on Wednesday. And with the state of the Twins' bullpen, both relievers could see action in Friday's contest. "We have a thinner bullpen out there so we needed these guys to come in and be able to pitch," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. In addition to having Delaney and Burnett available out of the 'pen, Gardenhire said that closer Matt Capps is available to pitch in Friday's contest. Left-hander Brian Fuentes' back was feeling better, but he was still not available to pitch on Friday. The Twins also considered a couple other pitchers unavailable, including Jeff Manship, who threw 65 pitches on Thursday, Jesse Crain, who threw 40 pitches, and Matt Guerrier, who has thrown in two consecutive games. Gardenhire was asked if the Twins had considered bringing up reliever Pat Neshek to help out of the bullpen this time around. "He's thrown quite a bit the last few days, but definitely his name has been talked about over and over again," Gardenhire said. "The one thing with [Neshek] is he's a one-inning guy, and tonight we needed innings more than anything else. But he is one of the guys we're talking about bringing up when their season ends." The expectation had been that the Twins would bring up perhaps a few more pitchers or position players once Rochester's season ends on Monday. But Gardenhire said he was not sure how many more players the team might add now that these moves had been made.
X-rays on Kubel's wrist come back clean
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Kubel had an X-ray and an MRI on his left wrist on Friday morning and neither test showed any structural damage.It was good news for the Twins, who have been plagued by their fair share of injuries recently. "Our worst fears were that something was broken in there and you miss him, too," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So it's good to hear that he's doing fine." Kubel had the wrist wrapped on Friday afternoon, and he had already taken some swings in the cage, his first since he was hit in the wrist by a pitch from Tigers left-hander Phil Coke on Tuesday night. He planned to take a few more in the cages during Friday's game and then take batting practice with the team before Saturday's contest. If everything goes well, Kubel said he hopes to be back in the lineup for Sunday's series finale with the Rangers. The Twins also got good news on two of their other injured players -- Jim Thome (back) and Orlando Hudson (right ankle) -- as they both were back in the lineup for Friday's contest.
Fox makes emergency start for Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins purchased the contract of right-hander Matt Fox to have the pitcher make an emergency spot start for the club on Friday night, but it's expected to be his only start as Kevin Slowey will be ready to rejoin the rotation on Monday.Twins manager Ron Gardenhire unveiled his pitching rotation for the next five days on Friday afternoon. Carl Pavano will stay in line to start Saturday against the Rangers and Nick Blackburn will start on Sunday. Slowey (strained triceps muscle) will be activated from the disabled list on Monday, the day he's eligible to return, to start the series opener against the Royals. Francisco Liriano will start Tuesday vs. Kansas City and Brian Duensing will close out that series on Wednesday.
Twins transfer Morneau to 60-day DL
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau was at Target Field on Friday afternoon, but manager Ron Gardenhire didn't have any further update on his progress."I asked him how he's doing, and he said 'OK,'" Gardenhire said. The Twins transferred Morneau to the 60-day disabled list on Friday in order to open up space on the 40-man roster for starter Matt Fox. But the move doesn't signal anything about whether or not Morneau, who has been recovering from a concussion he suffered on July 7, will be able to return to the team this season. Morneau has already been on the disabled list for 55 days, dating back to July 8, and it's very unlikely that he would be ready to return to the team in the next five days. So the move made sense for the Twins. "That was the easy move to clear roster space," Gardenhire said.
The Twins kicked off their 50th season celebration weekend on Friday night with an hour-long pregame ceremony to honor the "50 Greatest Twins." The list was voted on by an expert panel of print, radio and television journalists throughout Twins Territory and senior members of the Minnesota Twins staff. A total of 34 of the 50 players were on hand for the event, including Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Paul Molitor. ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brian Duensing become the first Major Leaguer in more than 10 years to throw at least two innings in relief just one or two days after a start of more than six innings. Duensing threw two innings of relief on Thursday after making a 6 2/3-inning start against the Tigers on Tuesday. The last pitcher to accomplish the feat had been Steve Woodard of the Brewers in May 2000. ... The rookie Elizabethton Twins have made it to the Appalachian League Championship. The best-of-three series kicked off Friday night at 6 p.m. CT in Elizabethton. It is the sixth consecutive year the Twins have been in the Appalachian League Championship, and they have won it five times under current manager Ray Smith.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.